David Allen’s Food For Thought – October 2014

Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 by GTD Staff



Climb the Fire Tower—Weekly

Several times recently I have had the opportunity to spend time with some real “veterans” of my seminars and methods, and the one lament that almost all of them have is their lack of habit with the Weekly Review. “You know, David, it all works really well, except that I haven’t really been able to get to the Weekly Review on a regular basis.”

This seems to be one of the biggest hurdles to implementation of the mind-like-water techniques—not establishing the ongoing review and cleanup and recalibration of one’s personal management system and its contents.

There is no system, formula, software, or set of lists, no matter how completely filled out, that can tie together the almost infinite number of variables that go into “getting our act together.” The only thing that makes it work is a consistent intervention of you. At some point you must lift yourself out of day-to-day tree hugging and do at least a modicum of forest management. Having a Projects list is a great step in that direction, but just having it doesn’t keep it current, or keep ensuring that there are next actions on each one appropriately decided and tracked. It also doesn’t ensure that the whole inventory is reviewed and the contents weighed appropriately, given the changing nature of priorities and outer realities.

There is a light-year’s difference between being “sort of” organized and having everything downloaded, clarified, updated, and reviewed from at least an elevated horizon. The brain does not get to graduate to its more exalted and more effective command post of making intuitive choices from its options, without this. It must remain the lowly galley slave trying to remember what it ought to be thinking about, at what level, when. And it doesn’t do that very well, so it gets punitive lashes from our own inner judge.

If anyone can tell me how they can get to the level of full creative freedom without reviewing and self-renegotiating all their commitments on a consistent basis, I’d love to hear it. It would be great if I didn’t have to do it. But until then, brushing teeth, taking showers, balancing my checkbook, and doing a Weekly Review remain necessary drills to keep my world where it needs to be.

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